by Alexis Romero
Published in The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Army took on the role of a different kind of warrior – one fighting for education and skills training – as it teamed up with the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement a program that seeks to improve the lives of out-of-school youth.
The Abot-Alam program seeks to provide out-of-school youth nationwide with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship in order to improve their life situations.
The cooperation between the Army and DepEd was formalized last week in a simple ceremony in Fort Bonifacio attended by Army chief Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri and Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
Initially, four Army enlisted personnel will undergo training as educators of the out-of-school youth.
“I believe the government has been steadfast in addressing the numerous needs in education,” Iriberri said.
“This will open opportunities to our house helpers, drivers and out-of-school youth,” the education chief said.
“The Army is not only involved in war involving weapons. It is also fighting the war against illiteracy and ignorance,” he added.
DepEd has a strategic framework that envisions zero out-of-school youth in the Philippines.
For this year, the program aims to give education and livelihood skills to one million out-of-school youth.
“The Philippine Army likewise expressed its commitment to help and support the DepEd in achieving the goal of zero out-of-school youth goal of the government,” Army spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said.